Congratulations. You have decided to sell your home. Here are some tips & tricks that will help you increase the appeal of your home.
The first few minutes are the most important minutes and they start at the front of the house.
CLEAN UP, FIX UP, PAINT UP OUTSIDE
• Invest in landscaping where it can be seen at first sight. A well-manicured lawn, neatly, clipped shrubbery, cleanly swept walks create a good first impression.
• An extra shot of fertilizer, in season, will make your grass look lush and green.
• Cut back overgrown shrubbery that looks scraggly or keeps light out of the house.
• Paint your house if necessary. This can probably do more for sales appeal than any other, factor. If you decide against painting, at least, consider touching up front shutters and window frames.
• Inspect the roof and gutters. Any missing shingles to replace? Gutters and down spouts in place? Need paint or repair?
• Consider putting flowers outside the front door.
• Repaint the front door.
• Put a bright coat of paint on your mailbox.
• Repair broken outdoor steps.
• The kitchen is the most important room in the house. Make it bright and attractive. If dull, paint cabinets and put up perky new curtains.
• Clean the ventilating hood in the kitchen.
• If the kitchen floor is badly worn, put down new flooring. Replace any loose tiles. To remove a loose tile, first soften the adhesive by applying heat with an iron covered by a soft cloth.
• Remove any appliances that you keep on your counters. Clean counters make the room look larger.
• Repair dripping faucets.
• Keep fresh towels in the bathrooms.
• Use special cleaning products to remove stains from toilets, bathtubs, sinks and showers.
• If sink and bathtub drain slowly, unclog them.
• Have all plaster in top shape. Cracks (or nailpops, visible seams in dry walls) are easy to fix.
• Check ceilings for leak stains. Fix the cause of the damage, repair the ceiling and paint.
• In painting and redecorating, avoid offbeat colors–stick to conventional white and easy-to-work-with pastels inside.
• If you have a fireplace, clean it out and lay some logs in it to make it look inviting.
• Wash windows.
• Replace broken glass.
• Mend torn screens.
• Check to see that all windows will open and close.
• Replace burned-out light bulbs. Use brighter light bulbs.
• Make sure every light switch works.
• Make the floors shine; clean and polish them. And nail down any creaking boards or stair treads. (Drive two long finishing nails at opposing angles through the floor and sub-floor into the joist.)
• Straighten up the closets–get rid of excess items. Use air freshener to eliminate musty odors. Lubricate any sticky or squeaking doors.
• For doors that stick slightly, rub a block of paraffin against the surface that shows signs of wear.
• For sliding doors that stick in their tracks, rub the tracks with paraffin or candle wax.
BASEMENT, ATTIC, GARAGE
• Clean out attic, basement and garage and dispose of everything you are not going to move. And package everything you won’t need until you’re settled in your new home.
• Make sure there is plenty of light on the stairs to the basement.
• If your basement is dark and gloomy, paint ceilings and walls a light color.
• Repair cracks in the basement floor with ready-mixed concrete.
WHEN YOUR HOUSE IS BEING SHOWN
• Keep room draperies and shades open to let in light. This also makes rooms appear larger.
• Have your home well-lit during showing.
• At night, turn on porch light and outdoor lighting in back if you have it.
• Neatness makes a room look bigger. Avoid clutter.
• If possible, leave your furniture and rugs in the house while showing it.
• Avoid having dirty dishes in the sink or on counters.
• Keep any toys in the children’s rooms. Bikes, wagons and skateboards should be made as inconspicuous as possible.
• Keep radio, stereo, TV off or turned way down.
• Take your family away if your broker is holding an open house.
• Children should be quiet.
• Refer direct inquiries you receive about seeing your house to your Realtor to take advantage of his or her professional skills in selling your home.
• Don’t mention furniture or furnishings you wish to dispose of unless asked. Such discussion can kill the sale.
• Take pets outdoors when your house is being shown.
• Let the real estate expert show your house, and don’t tag along. Answer questions candidly when asked, but don’t offer answers to unasked questions.